By Sunday Oguntuyi Osogbo
The new appointment of Director General/Chief Executive Officer of NACETEM, Ile-Ife yesterday sparked protest as the Institute Union vowed not to allow One Dr Olusola Odusanya has been reported to have been appointed via a letter signed by Henry Ikoh, the outgoing Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation.
The protest which disrupted activities at the center yesterday was directed by Comrade Funminiyi Gbadamosi
Branch Chairman, NASU NACETEM of Ile-Ife
He alledged that the new appointment of DG/CEO was a corrupt recruitment carried out by the Chief Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, Hon. Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation.
According to him “We read on the pages of newspapers, with utter dismay, about the eventual appointment of a candidate for the post of Director General/Chief Executive Officer of NACETEM following a grossly flawed process championed by the Honourable Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation. One Dr Olusola Odusanya has been reported to have been appointed via a letter signed by Henry Ikoh, the Minister of State.”
“Chief Henry Ikoh, through a letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and dated 22nd December, 2022 truncated a duly approved and legitimate ongoing process initiated by the NACETEM Governing Board; the body empowered by extant rules to do so. ”
“His reason was a petition written by some disgruntled elements from a disunited union, citing provisions from the Conditions of Service for Federal Research and Development Agencies, Institutes and Colleges (COS 2019), a document that had been disowned by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF).”
Gbadamosi hinted that Minister of State, Henry Ikoh, neither attempted to verify or disprove all the fictitious allegations in the said petition nor bothered to listen to other stakeholders in the Agency, namely the Governing Board, the Management and sister Union(s) like NASU.
“He, as such, usurped the powers of a constituted authority, demonstrated bias and prejudice and demonstrated stark ignorance and an act of negligence.”
“NASU NACETEM, upon seeing the jaundiced position of the Honourable Minister on the subject matter, wrote to call his attention to several, if not all, of the wrong insinuations and conclusions depicted in the letter aimed at halting the process being undertaken by the NACETEM Governing Board. ”
“He ignored our letter and our opinions. We found out that a fact-finding and peace meeting was called at the instance and in the presence of the (Senior) Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation (HMSTI) at the FMSTI in Abuja. ”
“Chief Ikoh still jettisoned the peace-oriented outcomes of the meeting to push through his ignominious agenda. A court case was instituted by a social critic and human rights activist, to curb the Minister’s excesses on this matter yet, he ignored the Courts in outright disrespect of the Rule of Law.”
“In spite of all these, Chief Ikoh singlehandedly handpicked some men and women into a kangaroo Committee and transferred to them the duties of the NACETEM Governing Board. He gave the committee the unconstitutional mandate to undertake a process that would have taken not less than 8 weeks in 2 weeks. ”
“This committee was inaugurated on the 14th of March, 2023 and was expected to submit a list of recommended candidates on the 31st of March, 2023. How they performed the magic was only known to Chief Henry Ikoh and the members of the committee.”
“It was obvious that Chief Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh has always had vested interests and he only had to threaten, deceive and/or hoodwink many offices and officers to get his stooge’s appointment ratified. He cunningly compromised a legitimate process and subjugated the authorities of a legally backed and recognised body. ”
However the position of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) in NACETEM on this matter are that “our uttermost disappointment at Chief Henry Ikoh’s act of dishonour and disrespect to constituted authorities, the President, and the laws of this country. His dishonourable attitude towards a Governing Board duly constituted by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is nothing but an affront to the person and Office of the President. His disrespectful disregard for the orders of a court of competent jurisdiction is also an affront to the Rule of Law;”
“Because we do not want to be lawbreakers and disrespectful subjects to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we dissociate our members entirely from this illegality superintended by the Honourable Minister of State, FMSTI and as such will not recognise nor receive any outcome of such illegal and illegitimate process;”
“In light of the foregoing, we hereby reject the appointment of Dr Olusola Odusanya, the illegally appointed DG/CEO for NACETEM. We premise our stance on the belief that you cannot build something on nothing. We are also of the firm belief that from a dishonourable cause an action does not arise”.
. Consequently, Dr Olusola Odusanya will not be recognised as a duly appointed DG/CEO and as such will not be welcome here at NACETEM.
“Any attempt, particularly from the Honourable Minister and any of his cohorts, to further provoke this Union on this matter will be met with the stiffest resistance possible under the ambits of the law. We shall rigorously repel their corrupt implantation in our Agency so much that the echoes of the resistance will reach every corner of this country and, perhaps, beyond.”
“NASU NACETEM declares a continuous demonstration and protest rallies until the illegal appointment of Dr Olusola Odusanya is reversed and the legitimate process, which the NACETEM Governing Board had piloted to near completion, is revisited and revived. Consequently, all members of NASU NACETEM, both at the Headquarters and the zonal offices are hereby directed to down tools with immediate effect and until further notice.”
” All members are enjoined to stay away from all official duties until they are directed to do otherwise by the Union.
On a final note, we wish to appreciate every individual, organisation and well-wishers who have supported this struggle from the very beginning up till now.